Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Bricklin

27
Jul
13

Jonathan Bricklin Credits The Entrepreneur For Business Success

Summer is in full swing folks and if there is one documentary  that you need to watch this summer that will inspire you and motivate you to succeed in life,  is  The Entrepreneur directed by the successful entrepreneur himself, Jonathan Bricklin.
 
Brickin  needs no introduction. Many already known him as the co-owner of the popular NYC ping-pong lounge, SPiN, www.newyork.spingalatic.com where some of the most beautiful people in NY come to socialize, play  ping-pong and of course try to meet Bricklin. Co-partnered with Academy Award winning beautiful and ageless actress Susan Sarandon and businessmen Franck Raharinosy and Andrew Gordon, the social club continues to be one of the hottest spots in the city drawing in thousands of people and tourists.  Currently SPiN has social clubs in Milwaukee, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dubai and New York.
Director Jonathan Bricklin poses for The Ravi Report

Director Jonathan Bricklin poses for The Ravi Report

I first met Bricklin a few years ago with his pal, award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ( no intro needed here folks. The guy is a total household name and his CNN show “Inside Man” rocks!) when both filmmakers were involved in WilliFest, a Brooklyn, NY based film festival that serves as an incredible platform for emerging filmmakers, actors and directors. Fast forward and we meet  again at the premiere party for his well received film The Entrepreneur, a documentary five years in the making  based on his brilliant dad Malcolm Bricklin and his  successful journey in the auto industry.  Bricklin Sr. known for bringing the Suburu and Yugo to North America  is also responsible for the first sports car with gull-wing doors.  The man is a genius folks. Plain and simple.

   

Due to some internal issues, the film could not be shown until just recently (it was completed in 2009) but since the release, it has gotten positive reviews from auto industry fans, universities and film festivals. The Entrepreneur is now available on on-demand cable, iTunes, Hulu, and SnagFilms.

“A lot of people have reacted very powerfully to the movie which is pretty amazing  and I  love it,”  Bricklin Jr.  exclusively told The Ravi Report at the recent sexy premiere party held at SPiN.  The director sat down with The Ravi Report to share his thoughts on directing his dad and how the success of the film inspired his own business.
 
Academy Award winning STUNNING actress Susan Sarandon chatting with party guests

Academy Award winning STUNNING actress Susan Sarandon chatting with party guests

RR: Jonathan, great seeing you again. Loved the film! May I ask, what you found most interesting in working with your dad?

JB: He is such an interesting guy. It was fun putting a story together that happens to star my dad and which happens to be true. But it also very subjective and we know storytelling is subjective. We had over 1000 hours of footage to edit from but we did it and are pleased with the outcome. My dad is one of the most open-minded, non-judgmental people I know.
 
RR: Your father is a brilliant businessman and you clearly inherited his business sense and drive. What role do you think the movie had in your decision to open SPiN?
 
JB: I give all the success to the ping pong club by getting 100% inspired by spending time with my dad. I really value that and owe it all to him. Making the film was indeed a journey for me.
 
RR: I know you and Morgan (Spurlock) are good friends and have worked on projects before. How influential was he in your first documentary?
 
Ravi Yande with Jonathan Bricklin at NY premiere party of The Entrepreneur

Ravi Yande with Jonathan Bricklin at NY premiere party of The Entrepreneur

JB: Morgan’s support to my movie was so important to me. It was invaluable because  Morgan himself makes amazing documentaries. I am so looking forward to his new One Direction coming out later this summer.

 
RR: I continue to hear great things about SPiN and all the hard work everyone does to make it a successful business. Susan (Sarandon) is also a partner and big supporter of your work. What does she bring to the business in addition to glamor and international fame? 
 
JB: She has such a large fan base and is a great promoter and with all our  business sense, we all had enough confidence to at that time to invest a couple of million dollars into opening a ping-pong lounge with a strong sense of what the social scene would be like with food and alcohol and it paid off.
 
RR: Are you surprise at the success for something so different then what New Yorkers are used to?
 
JB: Well, growing up with my dad, I thought anything was possible so we thought this idea would be possible and it worked out. But it’s a team effort and we are very lucky to have a good team and that’s the important thing here. Just like film making is a team effort, life is a team effort.
 
Brickin with guest smile for The Ravi Report

Brickin and guest pose for The Ravi Report

RR: With the success of SPiN, will you and your partners think of expanding the brand?

 
JB: We are interested in growing the SPiN Galactic Universe Ping Pong club to as many clubs as possible across the country and maybe even internationally.
 
RR: I know you have been to India Jonathan, how did that trip influence your business?
 
JB: I loved India. I was traveling and making this film and was in India in 2004 where I visited a high-tech design company and saw employees playing ping-pong during their lunch breaks and thought how cool is that!
 
RR: How as the journey for both Jonathan, the director and the entrepreneur been so far? 

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JB: (pauses)…my journey has been miraculous. Life is unexpected and throws you for a surprise and I wake up totally inspired everyday by getting into new adventures. I think my film is an inspirational tool for everyone. It teaches you real life situations and how to handle them while both failing and succeeding along the way.

RR: Thank you Jonathan. Always a pleasure hearing about your amazing life!

JB: Thank you Ravi

The journey continues folks….vroooommmm!!!

Ravi

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20
Sep
10

MORGAN SPURLOCK CONNECTS WITH WILLIFEST 2010

The other day, one of my reporter friends mentioned to me that she was going to the 2010 Willifest Film Festival. She asked me if I was going. 
“Was I going?” I eagerly replied.
“I”m all over that already” I then boasted. 
And I am.
 
The Williamsburg Film Festival, (www.willifest.com)  fondly known as Willifest will begin on Sept 23 and run until the 26th in one of the hippest and stylish places in Brooklyn. The newly establish film festival will bring together hundreds of film professionals and thousands of movie fans over the course of three days in the famous town full of artists and some of the most creative people you will ever meet.
 
The festival will feature the works of some of the most talented directors, producers, writers and actors from NY showcasing their short films and documentaries. It with also feature special Q&A with the directors, industry executives and producers after specific screenings.  If it’s anything like their recent press party, you are NOT GOING to want to miss this exciting film festival folks!
 
Co-Founded by talented veteran filmmaker Michael Helman and film/TV/music producer Robin Adams, The Williamsburg Film Festival was established so that accomplished and up and coming artistic  filmmakers from NY can showcase their films to a live audience while meeting industry professionals and networking with their peers.
 

Ravi Yande with "Dream Team" filmmakers Beth Aala, Jonathan Bricklin and Morgan Spurlock

One of the most successful and eminent filmmaker to attach his name and films to the festival this year is the resplendent Morgan Spurlock.  

 
Spurlock, whose 2004 Academy Award nominated film “Super Size Me” is still one of the most famous and most watched documentaries of all time,  is one of the nicest, humorous and talented filmmakers I have ever met. Spurlock spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his involvement in the Williamsburg Film Festival this year. I caught up with Spurlock and his team of amazing producers at one of the hottest & sexiest places in NY, the ping-pong social club SPIN New York. (www.spingalactic.com).
 
“This festival became a great showcase for what I think has become a NY platform for films for NY based filmmakers and I am surprised by the amount of talent I see in NYC.” said the NY based director. 
 
” I came from West Virginia to NYC to find my way into this business and I want to help people get their movies seen,” added the award-winning screenwriter.
 
 The acclaimed filmmaker gained nationwide fame with his  documentary creating ripples through the fast food industry  by showing the world what a diet of McDonald’s fast food can do to you and your body.  The success of the film made Spurlock one of the most sought after filmmakers in Hollywood and NY.
 
Spurlock is executive producer of the opening night  film “Pool Party” which is directed by long time friend, the talented and beautiful Beth Aala. The film tells the story of how one of the largest abandoned pools in NY became a venue for bands and musicians. The buzz on this film is pretty intense.
 
“Morgan is one person that  loves to take chances” said  Aala. The director also believes that due to Spurlock’s ability to work well with people and his ability to be trusting in new producers and directors, the masterful documentary filmmaker  is revered by many of his peers.
 
“For Morgan, it’s aways been about quality and story and it shows in his work or whatever project he gets involved in” stated Aala,
 
Then for a split second during my interview, Spurlock became the reporter (Spurlock is an excellent journalist by the way who was voted by Time magazine in 2007 as one of  the top 10 “Best Journalists of The World”) and I became the listener.
 
“What do you expect from your film. What do you hope for?” the  filmmaker asked Aala.
 
“My hope is that an audience is going to experience this film and appreciate the changes and music in Williamsburg. I knew it back in the day (1999) and it is completely different from it is now” said Aala.
 
Spurlock is also the executive producer (the guy never rests!) of another incredible and engrossing film called “The Entrepreneur” based on the life of Malcom Bricklin, the gentleman responsible for bringing Suburus to America in the 1960s and for importing Yugos. The film is director by Bricklin’s son, the gifted filmmaker and co-owner of SPIN New York, Jonathan Bricklin.
 
” I asked if he (Spurlock) could help me finish the film and he said yes. I think its his great vibe and the fact that he is very approachable, really made this happen.” said Brickin Jr.
 
Spurlock said he took to the film because of one main thing the premise.
 
“Jonathan related the story and I saw so many similarities with it in my own life. I also grew up with a dad who was an entrepreneur who did not rest until he became successful so I could so related to this film in so many ways” stated the filmmaker.
 
This is Bricklin Jr. first documentary.
 
“As a filmmaker, just screening a film for  live audience is satisfying but when Morgan came into this project, that was pretty much it for me. To be endorsed by a great filmmaker who is so creative that was a great satisfaction for me in making this film” stated the NY based filmmaker.
 
Bricklin also says that Spurlock fully understands both the creative and business process which is  rare in a highly successful filmmaker.
 
Spurlock says his love for documentaries began in college when he saw the documentary  “Brother’s Keeper” (1992), the story about the murder trial of Dilbert Ward. Spurlock says that film directed by Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky really impacted his life in terms of following his decision into making documentaries.
 
“There is a great way to tell engrossing stories through non-fiction film making that does exist through narrative filmmaking”  pointed out the director who also believes that documentaries have grown to a place where they have become popular and accepting and that  now is the chance to make more docs that will eventually become mainstream.
Spurlock’s next film will be an adaptation of the book Freakonomics”  by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner due out in October.  Spurlock will be working with four other directors includng Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki.
 
With his sense of filmmaking and passion for telling realistic stories, I had to ask the talented filmmaker about what his thoughts were on making a documentary on Bollywood.
 
” I would love to head to Mumbai to make a documentary. That would be amazing.” said the director.
 
“He should be a consultant to Bollywood films” chimed in Bricklin.
 
“They would welcome him with open arms” smiled Aala.
 
Indeed they would.
 
The journey continues…..
Ravi

 




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